Feb. 8 (UPI) -- The Transportation Security Association intercepted a record number of firearms in carry-on baggage at U.S. airports in 2018, the TSA said.
Last year, TSA screeners confiscated 4,239 guns at U.S. airport checkpoints, equalling an average of 81.6 guns a week or 11.6 a day, which is a 7 percent increase from 2017, the TSA said Thursday in its Year in Review report.
More than 86 percent of those guns were loaded, the TSA said, and over 33 percent had a round in the chamber.
Firearms were intercepted at 249 of the 440 federalized airports throughout the U.S. with more guns confiscated at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with 298 - 253 of which were loaded - than any other airport.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airpot came in second with 219 firearms confiscated (193 loaded) followed by Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with 129 (120 loaded), Denver International Airport with 126 (95 loaded), George Bush International Airport with 117 (115 loaded), Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport with 96 (80 loaded), Austin-Bergstrom International Airpot with 93 (76 loaded), Dallas Love Field Airport with 89 (82 loaded) and Nashville International Airport with 86 firearms (80 loaded).
The Atlanta airport, which saw an increase of 53 guns seized from the year before, also set the record for most guns confiscated at one airport in a single month in August with 32.
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In 2018, a record-setting 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags across the country. 86% of those firearms discovered were loaded (also a record). … When a firearm is discovered by TSA officers at a checkpoint, it's immediately reported to law enforcement. And while firearm possession laws vary by location, TSA may impose civil penalties of up to $13,333 per incident. … If you plan to travel with a firearm, make sure you know the rules. Visit our website to find out how to properly pack the firearm with your checked luggage. You should also contact your airline for their specific policies, as well as knowing the local laws for firearms at your destination. … #travel #traveling #traveler #airport #guns #firearms #traveltips #aviationlife
In May, the TSA announced that it had set the new daily record for the most guns seized in a day with 26 at 15 airports throughout the country.
And earlier in February 2018, it said it confiscated 104 firearms from carry-on bags in one week at U.S. airports, surpassing the previous weekly record of 96 set in 2017.
Coinciding with the increase in the confiscation of guns was the increase in traffic at U.S. airports as a total 813.8 million passengers and crew were screened at checkpoints in 2018, a 5.5 percent increase from the year previous, TSA said.
While firearm possession laws vary by state, the TSA can impose civil penalties of up to $13,333 per violation per person.
"Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure," the TSA said. "... We strong suggest travelers contact their airline for specific firearm and ammunition policies and check local laws related to the carry and transport of firearms."